Now that this untouched island has become accessible to the US, tourists are flocking to visit Cuba. And it’s expected that super yachts will descend on Havana. The harbor is already preparing itself for the onslaught. Baroque Yachts has all the details
As predicted, Cuba is set to become the world’s next super yacht destination. Since President Obama eased restrictions, US citizens are heading for this untouched paradise to explore. In fact, according to Bloomberg Business, in the first five months of 2015, more than 1.7 million people visited the island. And now it’s been announced that the harbor is preparing itself for a variety of super yachts that are expected to visit in 2016 and beyond.
For starters, diplomatic presence in both the US and Cuba is becoming a reality. A US embassy has been opened in Havana, and a Cuban embassy is to open its doors in Washington DC. As the winter season approaches, it’s expected that many people will head for the communist island to visit, including those traveling on their own super yachts, or chartering luxury vessels to include Cuba as a destination along with other paradise islands in the Caribbean.
However, before yachts can descend on Cuba en masse, they need a support infrastructure, which is why Havana is readying itself to accommodate this. In the meantime, it’s obvious that luxury yachts visiting the lower part of the Caribbean are showing an interest in visiting Cuba as well. After all, there are hundreds of possible mooring spots on the island, the waters are ideal for sailing, and Cuba itself is a magical holiday destination, relatively unspoilt and charming to boot.
To start with, the more adventurous are already heading for Cuba to savor all that the island has to offer. But the more infrastructure that is developed, the more popular the island will become.
Of course, Cuba is aware of the potential it holds for visitors, including those traveling on luxury yachts. After all, the area known as Jardines de la Reina, located 50 miles of the Southern coast of Cuba, is a magnificent protected reef. This 830 square-mile environment is the ideal super yacht playground, and Cuba is aware of its potential as a popular tourist destination. For this reason, the country is making strides to address the onslaught of big yachts.
As the infrastructure for yachts is so limited on the island, super yacht owners and charter companies could also assist in furthering research and development for conservation purposes.
One of the first Super yacht refit facilities to be built in Cuba is one belonging to French refit shipyard Nautech, who specializes in refitting, maintaining and repairing yachts between 25m and 95m in size. The company, which already owns facilities in Marseille and Villefranche-sur-Mer, recently announced the launch of their new Cuban facility.
Located east of Cuba’s Bay of Havana and just 100 miles south of the US coast, the new facility is shared between Nautech and the Cuban government, which owns and operates the shipyard. Nautech aims to make full use of the people employed at the shipyard as well as European contractors to create a huge refit project for vessels between 40m and 130m.
The Cuban shipyard offers six dockside berths that are 1,100m combined as well as a 151m-long dry dock. Once completed, the shipyard will offer a convenient, full-service refit and repair facility.